As a UFC fighter, Cody "No Love" Garbrandt knows what it's like to win a fight - to face a challenger head on and defeat him blood, sweat, tears, and all. But for the 26-year-old MMA Bantamweight Champion ready to defend his title at Madison Square Garden on November 4th, it was his relationship with one boy fighting a very different battle that helped make him into the champion he is today.
Lauded by UFC President Dana White as his next big star, Garbrandt takes us on a journey of one promise that changed two lives for the better with the release of The Pact (ISBN# 9780785216810) on May 8, 2018, from the W Publishing Group, an imprint of Thomas Nelson.
Cody's story is one of overcoming the hardships of Appalachian life to become the reigning UFC Bantamweight Champion. During his rise in the UFC, he was introduced to Maddux Maple. When they first met in 2011, Maddux was five years old and deathly ill with leukemia. Garbrandt had been a troubled youth who found his inspiration in Maddux, while Maddux saw the local fighter Garbrandt as a hero.
Maddux and Cody quickly developed a friendship and made a pact with each other: Maddux would beat cancer and Cody would win a championship belt.
Though fighting different fights, they loved and supported each other-Cody working through the agony and sacrifices of becoming a champion, and Maddux fighting through the horrors of chemotherapy. In December 2016, Cody won his first MMA Championship belt-which he promptly presented to Maddux, who was in remission after winning his own battle against cancer. The Pact is a story about the power of friendship, commitment, and the ultimate will to succeed. For details on how to pre-order, go to codygarbrandt.com/the-pact.
"I break the will of my opponents but I never break a promise or a Pact - I fight for me, life, respect, and love," said Garbrandt. "Maddux helped me change and put life into perspective."
"There is a universal appeal to this story because audiences of all kinds understand the value of striving toward a dream that's worth fighting for," said Daisy Blackwell Hutton, vice president and publisher of the W Publishing Group. "Cody's fans already know him as a champion, and the way he shares his own story, in addition to his connection with Maddux, is truly inspirational."